Speaker Boehner: Pray for Rep. Giffords and Victims of Tucson Shooting

By John R Parkinson

Jan 9, 2011 1:05pm

ABC News’ John R. Parkinson reports:

Speaker of the House John Boehner today spoke out against the shooting of Rep. Gabrielle Giffords and reiterated part of his written statement Saturday that “an attack on one who serves is an attack on all who serves.”

“Public service is a high honor, but these tragic events remind us that all of us in our roles in service to our fellow citizens comes with a risk,” Boehner, R-Ohio, said. “This inhuman act should not and will not deter us from our calling to represent our constituents and to fulfill our oaths of office. No act, no matter how heinous, must be allowed to stop us from our duty.”

Boehner spoke briefly from his district in West Chester, Ohio this morning, saying that “such acts of violence have no place in our society” and called on his colleagues in the House of Representatives and their staffs to pray for Giffords and the victims of Saturday’s shooting that left at least six dead.

“I ask that you on this Sabbath day that we keep Gabby and her staff in our thoughts and prayers,” Boehner said. “The thoughts and prayers of the House and the nation are with Congresswoman Giffords and her family. We're also praying for the families of Judge Roll and all of those who were taken from us yesterday so senselessly.”

Boehner said that he had directed that the flags on the House side of the U.S. Capitol be flown at half mast in honor of killed Giffords staffer Gabe Zimmerman.

Zimmerman, a former social worker who served as Giffords’ director of community outreach, was just 30 years old.

Boehner said that the House will not move forward next week in its efforts to repeal the health care reform law, but instead will act legislatively to “take necessary action regarding yesterday's events.”

A revised schedule for the House floor is expected to be announced by Majority Leader Eric Cantor, R-Virginia, later today.

Boehner also thanked first responders and law enforcement personnel on the scene in Tucson and pledged that the House of Representatives stands by prepared to assist in the investigation.

“I want to commend the federal, state and local officials, as well as the Capitol Police, for all of their efforts,” Boehner said. “I told the FBI Director that the House stands ready to assist in any way possible.”

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